Frank Bretz is a visionary. He is one who recognizes a need and expands the need to fit the masses of many. His volunteer work began over 50 years ago. Where he was or is he continues to make the world a little better, one day at a time.
Recognizing a need at Hospice of Palm Beach County for horticulture therapy, plant day began. Bretz thought about who else might benefit from plants. An organization for disabled children became the recipients of many starter plants. An organization housing families of chronically ill children now has a lovely garden.
Holiday time five years ago, Bretz and a few volunteers baked cookies for families of terminally ill patients. These cookies were personally delivered giving them a touch of happiness during a difficult time. This year over 15,000 cookies will be baked for Hospice of Palm Beach County families. Bretz is now affectionately known as the Cookie Monster. The tears and letter of thanks are worth it all. He still oversees this operation, with more love and dedication than you can imagine.
During Bretz’s tenure with Café Joshua, an organization that serves meals to the homeless in a restaurant environment complete with waiters, he saw a need. The homeless really had no one to talk to. Table companions consisting of volunteers who dines with the homeless is now a tradition. Sometimes the smallest gesture means the most. Bretz’s perception, drive and completion of these efforts are shown in the number of hours served each week. At Hospice of Palm Beach County alone, he spends 20 hours per week. Frank Bretz is 80 years old.
He has been instrumental in patient care, spending numerous hours doing what most patients relish, listening. He takes special assignments to deal with difficult patients. His volunteer efforts are also instrumental in helping those employees who may be stressed, knowing that making their lives a little easier will ultimately have that positive effect on patients and their families. In his spare time he makes cross-stitch gifts for departments of Hospice, recognizing them for what they do.
For 16 weeks, in an effort to reach the community as a whole, Bretz wrote and moderated a local television program aimed at senior citizen issues.
Frank Bretz volunteers his time, his love, his compassion, and his knowledge. He is paving the road for the future of volunteerism, recognizing that somewhere, at sometime, each of us might need a person like him, who recognizes the need for the extraordinary as well as ordinary.